More Hartlepool United players to follow Rhys Oates out on loan?
Rhys Oates is the first player to depart through the exit door at Hartlepool United '“ but he is unlikely to be the last.
The striker yesterday joined Gateshead on loan, less than 48 hours after making his first Pools start of the season.
Oates is likely to be followed out of the Northern Gas & Power Stadium by several players who are currently out of the first-team-picture
When the transfer window closed before midnight on Wednesday, there will have been a collective sigh of relief among fans that the club had kept hold of the much-admired Nathan Thomas.
The only pre-window business done by Craig Hignett was the arrival of two forwards on loan, Bradley Fewster, from Middlesbrough, and Tom Heardman, from Newcastle United.
However, it also meant that a loan departure or three would be on the cards.
Pools have a big squad – with a high number of forward operators – and with few reserve-team fixtures those players NOT in the match-day 18 will need games.
The double signing of Fewster and Heardman until the end of December immediately put Oates in danger and he will benefit from a stint in the National League.
Oates marked his first start of the season in fine fashion, tucking away his opening goal of the season nicely at Meadow Lane in the Checkatrade Trophy in midweek.
The ex-Barnsley forward also led the line well in the second period after Billy Paynter was withdrawn at the break.
The 21-year-old, brought to Pools in summer 2015 by then-boss Ronnie Moore, is set to make his debut for the Heed against Sutton United at the International Stadium this afternoon.
While the transfer regulations have changed – loan deals are now long-term, either half-season or full campaign – clubs can still send players into non-league.
Oates has joined the Heed on an initial month’s loan and the club can recall him at any time.
A number of the younger Pools talents could make similar journeys.
When Trevor Carson returns from Northern Ireland duty, young keeper Ben Dudzinski may be loaned out, while still training with Pools on a daily basis.
Last season, number three keeper, Peter Denton, had a good spell with Bedlington in the Northern League.
Other players who could go out include defender Josh Nearney, midfielders Kieran Green and Brad Walker, and forward Connor Smith.
Green and Smith, like Oates, both featured at Notts County in midweek, coming on for the second half, and putting themselves in the shop window with lively displays.
Teenager Green, who showed up well in pre-season, went on loan to Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division side Frickley Athletic last year.
Walker is out of the frame given the midfield riches at the Vic and it would be no surprise where he to be given the opportunity of reviving his career with a loan spell.